US 3202930 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug- 24, 1965 J. T. MuRAszKo APPARATUS FOP. FREQUENCY SYNTHESIS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Deo. lO, 1965 Aug- 24, 1965 J. T. MURAszKo 3,202,930
APPARATUS FOR FREQUENCY SYNTHESIS Filed Dec. lO, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 ZZSll Patented Aug. 24, 1965.
ffice to The Plessey Company Limited, Ilford, England, a
British company Filed Dec. 10, 1%3, Ser. No. 329,600 3 Claima (Cl. 331-2) This invention relates to electrical oscillation generators of the kind sometimes referred to as frequency synthesisers, in which a user can obtain an output of any desired frequency within a given range by setting a series of controls each corresponding to a digit of the number representing the desired frequency;
According to the invention, .an oscillation generator includes an electrical oscillation generator including a plurality of identical stages each consisting of a variablefrequency oscillator, a mixer device and a frequency discriminator device; a source for a series of standard frequencies any one of which can be selected for feeding to the mixer device of any stage; the stages being arranged in a predetermined sequence whereby a first input to the discriminator device of each stage except the first stage is obtained through one of a series of identical frequency dividers from the variable-frequency oscillator of the next preceding stage in the sequence, a second input to the discriminator consisting of the diiference frequency resulting from the comparison in the mixer device of the stage of the selected one of the said standard` frequencies with the frequency of the variable-frequency oscillator of the stage, which is arranged to be controlled in accordance with an output of the discriminator device in such a way as to reduce to zero the difference in frequency between the said two inputs to the discriminator.
The first input to the discriminator of the iirst stage can be obtained either from the standardV frequency series, through a suitable fixed-ratio divider stage, or from a free-running continuously-variable oscillator, givingystep less control of output frequency.
The foregoing and other features of the invention will be evident from the following description of two preferred forms of oscillation generator embodying they invention. The description refers to the accompanying drawings, in which FIGURE l shows aV block diagram of one form of oscillation generator and FIGURE 2 shows a detail of a slightly modified form of generator.
The arrangement shown iny FIGURE l is a three-stage frequency synthesiser capable of generating any frequency in the range 2 mc./s. to 3 mc./s. in 100 c./s. increments. It consists of-three identical stages, A, B and C, each inclu-ding a variable-frequency oscillator lila, 10b, ltlc capable of being tuned over the desired frequency range of 2-3 rnc./s. Each oscillator is provided with a frequency control loop including a discriminator or phase comparator 11a-c whose output exercises a controlling function in the associated oscillator; the loop is closmi through a multiplicative mixer stage 12a-c which provides an output which is the difference between the oscillator frequency and a standard frequency chosen by a selector switch 13a-c, a bandpass filter 14a-c rejecting unwanted products of the mixing process. For each stage a reference frequency is injected at a second input to the discriminator: for stages B and C this reference input is provided by the output of the oscillator lila or 10b of the preceding stage, reduced in frequency by a factor of l@ by a digital divider stage 15a or 15b. The reference input to the rst stage A is obtained through a further divider stage 15C and a further standard frequency selector switch 14d.
The selector switches 13a-d, which form the actual frequency-determining controls of the apparatus, are connected to a set of 13 standard-frequency busbars shown diagrammatically at 16. Each switch has ten` positions, denoting the digits (lr-9 for one digit position of the. number representing the required frequency, each switch is connected to a different ten combinations of the busbars 16.
The busbars 16. are supplied from a standard frequency source, such as a crystal-controlled oscillator 17, whose 5 mc./s. output is reduced to 100 1ro/s. by dividers 18 and 19 and then used. to. control the frequency of a harmonic generator Ztl, such as a multivibrator circuitv producing an output waveform whose spectrum includes. the harmonics of its 100 kc./s. controlled frequency up. to at least 3 mc./s. Harmonics in the range, 1.8` mc./s. to 3 mc./s. are selected by filters 21 and passed each to. one of the standard frequency busbars 16.
The component circuits shown in FIGURE 1, such as variable-frequency oscillators, mixer stages, frequency discriminators and frequency dividers are all well-known in the art: details of specific examples of suitable circuitarrangements are readily available vand need not therefore be included in this specification.`
The operation of the circuit can be most readily corn-v prehendcd by a consideration of its operation for any given setting of the frequency-controlling selector switches 13a-cl.
Consider the first selector switch 13d of the generator set to select a frequency f, from the range of standard requencies carried by busbars i6. This frequency is reduced by oneL order of magnitude by divider 15C and fed as fll01 to one input of the lirst stage discriminator. 11a.
The selector 13a of vstage A is set to f2. If the frequency of oscillator 19a. is fn, the output of the mixer 12a will include a difference component f0-f2 that is selectively passed by filter 14a, in preference to the unwanted signal components produced by the mixer 12a, this difference frequency being applied to the second input of discriminator ila. The error output e of discriminator 11a controls the frequencyof oscillator lila in such a way as to reduce e to zero, `a condition obtained when the two inputs to the discriminator are in frequency and phase synchronism.. It follows that inthis condition the oscillator frequency fg is given by o=1'10-1lf2 Y the control loop maintaining this value to, accuracy dependent upon the accuracy of the main standard 17. Thus the action of the control loop has locked oscillator lila at a frequency equal to the sum of 4the stage input frequency and the selected standard frequency. This process is repeated'in stages B and C, the stage-input frequency being lowered byan order of Vmagnitude by` dividers 15a and 15b before being used as a frequency reference.
T hus the input to the discriminator 1lb of stage B is (1- ltl-l-l-fg) 101. If the stage B selector switch 13b is set to f3, oscillator llb is ylocked on to la frequency of (f1l0-1-l-f2)10r1+f3. Continuing the process, if selector switch 13c of stage C is set to f4, its oscillator lltlc is locked on to F0=4+a 10-14-12 NVZ-tf1' l0-3 In the generator shown, this determines the final output frequency: the principle can however be extended to as many stages as desired.
Each of the frequencies f1-f4 can be )any harmonic of 100 kc./s. in the range 1.8 mc./s.-3 rnc/s. The output frequency Fo can therefore have any value that is a multiple of l0() c./s., inthe desired range of 2-3 mc./s.
lt would appear from the foregoing that a series of standard frequencies consisting of the multiples 0 9 of a standard interval such as 100 kc./s. would offer the most desirable basis for a frequency synthesis. However, in order to obtain a frequency range covering 42-3 mc./s. with the minimum number of synthesiser stages, it is more convenient to enable the standard frequencies available to cover ythe desired range directly. Interpolation between the standard frequencies is then less straightforward mathematically but involves, as extra apparatus, only the filters 21 and busbars 16 necessary to accommodate the thirteen standard frequencies provided. The selector switches 13a-d are still ten position switches on which the desired frequency can be set up directly, switch 13d being connected with busbars carrying the ten frequencies in the range 2.1 mc./s. to 3.0 nie/s. (corresponding directly with the desired digit) and switches 13a-c with the ten frequencies -in the range 1.8 mc./s. to 2.7 mc./s.
`For a numerical example, consider the generation by the arrangement of FIGURE 1 of a frequency of 2.7314 mc./s. This value can be rendered in terms of the available standards frequencies as The setting-up .procedure is ltherefore as follows:
(a) The least significant digit, i.e., the one which determines the 100 c./s. increment, is 4; therefore, set the selector switch 13d to 2.4 mc./s. (position "4). In the divider, this is divided by ten and will appear as a reference input to Ithe phase comparator as 240 kc./s.
(b) Set variable oscillator 16a to approximately 2.14 mc./s. and selector switch `13a to 1.9 mc./s. (position l). The resulting difference frequency after the mixer will be approximately 240 kc./s., which, when compared in the phase comparator with the reference 240 kc./s. will phase-lock the variable oscillator 16a to exactly 2.14 mc./s. This, `when divided by ten will appear as 214 kc./s. at the next phase comparator input.
(c) Set variable oscillator b to approximately 2.314 mc./s. and selector switch D2 to 2.1 mc./s. (position 3), resulting in a difference frequency of approximately 2.4 kc./s. When phase-lock occurs, the variable oscillator 10b will be producing exactly 2.314 mc./s. This, on division by ten, becomes 231.4 lic/S.
(d) Set variable oscillator -13c =to approximately 2.7314 mc./s. and selector switch D1 to 2.5 mc./s. (position 7). The dierence is approximately 231.4 kc./s., which locks itself to the incoming frequency of 231.4 kc./s., thus making the -output exactly 2.7314 mc./s. This is the required synthesised output.
In the preceding section reference has been made to the approximate setting of the oscillators 10a-c during setting-up. This may be effected by the operation of setting the corresponding switches 13a-c and reduces the catching range required of the discriminators 11a-0.
FIGURE 2 shows a detail of a modified arrangement in which the available output frequency is continuously variable over the desired range, as opposed to the c./s. steps afforded by the arrangement of FIGURE 1. This is effected by supplying the discriminator input to stage A from a further variable-frequency oscillator, identical with oscillators 10a-c but capable of being manually set to any desired Afrequency Within its 2-3 mc./s. tuning range.
Certain prior suggestions for frequency synthesised arrangements have relied on the provision of a plurality of oscillators each covering a different frequency band corresponding to a digit or digits of the desi-red frequency. For accurate setting some at least of the stages of these suggested arrangements had to work at low radio frequencies, involving bulky components. By contrast the arrangements shown in the drawings are built up around a single stage module, associated with simple ancillary circuits, and the lowest signal frequency involved is yonly one order of magnitude lower than the lowest desired output frequency.
What I claim is:
1. An electrical oscillation generator including a plurality of identical stages each consisting of a variablefrequency oscillator, a mixer dev-ice and a frequency discrim-inator device; a source for a series of standard frequencies any one of which can be selected for feeding to the mixer device of any stage; the stages being arranged in a predetermined sequence whereby a first input to the discriminator device yof each stage except the rst stage is obtained through one of a series of identical frequency dividers from the variable-frequency oscillator of the next preceding stage in the sequence, a second input to the discriminator consisting of the difference frequency resulting from the comparison in the mixer dev-ice of the stage of the selected one of the said standard frequencies with the frequency of the variablefrequency oscillator of the stage, which is arranged to be controlled in accordance with an output of the discrirninator device in such a way as to reduce to zero the difference in frequency between the said two inputs to the discriminator.
2. An oscillation generator 4according to claim 1, wherein the said first input to the td-iscriminator device of the rst stage consists of a selected one of the series of standard frequencies applied through a fixed-ratio frequency divider.
3. An oscillation generator according to claim 1, wherein the said first input to the discriminator device of the first stage is obtained from -a free-running oscillator of continuously-variable frequency.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS ROY LAKE, Primary Examiner.l